IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Purdue guard Isaiah Thompson said he had to get “back to the basics” with his shot.
Sometimes the simple fixes are the best.
Thompson scored a career-high 18 points and Jaden Ivey had 15 in his return from a hip injury as the No. 6 Boilermakers defeated Iowa 83-73 on Thursday night.
“When you put your time and preparation in, eventually it will pay off,” Thompson said. “I’m glad it paid off tonight.”
Thompson came in averaging just 5.7 points and had shot 7 of 29 in his last six games. But he went 6 of 8 in this one — including 4 for 6 on 3-pointers.
“He looked like he was having fun out there,” Ivey said. “It was good to see he had his confidence back.”
Thompson was concerned enough with his shot to talk to his father, LaSalle, a couple of weeks ago to see if he could find something wrong.
“I was struggling shooting,” Thompson said. “It wasn't anything out of the ordinary I was doing. I was getting open looks that didn't go down. I just wanted to get back to the basics of what my dad taught me all my life, and I think I did a good job of that."
Purdue coach Matt Painter thought Thompson was “opportunistic.”
“He stepped up and made some plays,” Painter said.
Ivey, the team's leading scorer at 16.7 points per game, missed Sunday’s 80-60 win at Northwestern. He didn't start this one either, but played 21 minutes off the bench.
“I felt good,” Ivey said. “Didn't tweak it at all.”
Purdue (17-3, 6-3 Big Ten), which shot 61.2%, led by as much as 18 in the second half before the Hawkeyes rallied to get within 57-53 with 12:22 to play. But then Ivey hit two 3-pointers to help stop Iowa's momentum.
“He made some huge shots when they were rolling,” Painter said.
Sasha Stefanovic had 14 points for Purdue. Trevion Williams added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Kris Murray led Iowa with 23 points.
“I thought Kris was great the whole game,” Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery said. “I just thought his aggressiveness at both ends was really good, and just to see him playing with that level of comfort and confidence is really important for him and for us.”
Iowa forward Keegan Murray, third in the nation in scoring at 22.8 points per game, played just nine first-half minutes after picking up two fouls. Murray, who didn’t play in the Dec. 3 matchup at Purdue because of an ankle injury, scored 14 points — 12 in the second half.
“He was good in the second half,” McCaffery said. “We needed him to be better. You say, oh, he had an off game. Fourteen and nine (rebounds) is pretty good. The kid did a lot of good things. He’s defending guys, in some cases a lot bigger than him. But he was good.”
The game featured two of the nation’s highest-scoring offenses. Purdue came in ranked fourth nationally at 84.7 points per game, while Iowa was fifth at 83.1.
FREE THROWS MATTER
The Hawkeyes hung around by making free throws, while the Boilermakers were missing theirs. Iowa missed its first free throw, then made its final 17 of the game. Purdue was 10 of 22 from the line, including 5 of 12 in the first half when the Boilermakers, who led 48-33 at halftime, could have had a bigger cushion.
“We were making some plays, but we weren't capitalizing by missing those free throws,” Painter said.
Ivey was one of the worst offenders, going just 2 of 7.
“I don't know what was going on,” he said, shaking his head. “I was out of rhythm, first game back.”
BIG WINS FOR THE BOILERMAKERS
Purdue has won seven of the last nine in the series. The average margin of victory for the Boilermakers has been 17.8 points.
Purdue made a top-10 statement with a road win over the Hawkeyes, who were 11-1 at home this season coming into the game.
Purdue kept pace with the leaders in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers are in fifth place in the conference, but just a game out of first.
Iowa missed a chance to gain ground. The Hawkeyes, who are in ninth place, took their second home loss in conference play.
Purdue: Hosts No. 16 Ohio State on Sunday. The Buckeyes are a half-game ahead of the Boilermakers in the standings.
Iowa: At Penn State on Monday, the first of two consecutive road games for the Hawkeyes next week.
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